Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Goldilocks or Dharma: A Right-sized Life

I have been gathering monthly with a group of friends and family who are committed to personal growth of many varieties. Many are 12 step folks, some are yoga, therapy, gardeners or foodies with the common thread of self-help and personal growth. We are reading Stephen Cope’s new book, “The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey.” His book, which is about the ancient text The Bhagavad Gita, uses that story to examine the lives of many greats like Jane Goodall, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost and others to challenge readers with the questions of “What is your true calling?”

Last night we looked at Thoreau’s life—his Walden Pond experiment—away to the woods with his mom cooking and his sis doing the laundry—and talked about how to discern if your life is too big or too small, or as Goldilocks would say, “Just right.”

For people in recovery this is not an easy question. Our lives can be big from grandiosity, or small from fear. We can be trying to live lives to please others—even long dead parents, or struggling toward work that really is ours but has so many obstacles it seems crazy to those who love us.

We do need all of our spiritual practices to make this challenging discernment. Our work, our art and in our culture questions about our money too, and for many of us our relationships. Do you follow a true calling like Goodall or Frost if there is a spouse who is reluctant or kids who need clothes?  Tough calls even after we get our scared selves out of the way.

Makes me very grateful for recovery the process AND recovery the community.

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